While many podcasters like their podcast to be a free-flowing conversation, I recommend using a script to keep you on track and ensure a consistent tone and structure. However, don’t over script it. It’s nearly impossible to sound natural when reading something word-for-word.
Note: This is a guest article written by Julie-Anna Needham. She set up Decibel Podcasts to teach small business owners how to launch their own podcasts. She is an award-winning branded podcast producer and former radio, TV and business journalist who has worked for the BBC and Sky News.
Podcast producer, media trainer, and former journalist
I’ve written a lot of scripts during my career, for radio, TV, and podcasts. Whilst they’re rarely beautifully crafted, they are short and to the point.
At a minimum you want the following scripted:
Introduction to you/podcast
Introduction to topic and guests
Questions (you can deviate from these)
Call to action
DO write in a conversational tone and include abbreviations
DON’T write as if you’re writing an essay
DO write in your own words and tone of voice. Does it sound like you when you’re chatting with friends?
DON’T use overly complicated language (unless it’s a technical podcast aimed at an audience who are knowledgeable about the subject matter)
DO read your script out loud to practise it and check it flows
DON’T write everything word-for-word. It’s nearly impossible to sound natural when you do this
DO leave room to ad-lib. You’ll only get a feel for how much scripting vs ad-libbing you need once you get started
Hello and welcome to (podcast name). The podcast series where we talk about (topic). I’m (name of host) and I’m with (name of co-host).
In today’s episode, we’ll be talking about (episode topic - why should listeners care). We’re/I’m joined by (guest name, guest job title) who will be sharing their (thoughts/experience).
Hello and welcome.
Talking point 1 (introduction, overview of subject why it’s important)
Link to talking point 2
Talking point 2 (introduce with key facts/research)
Link to talking point 3
Talking point 3 (introduce with key facts/research)
Key takeaways/looking to the future from guest
Thanks to (name of guest here). Recap of what was spoken about and what you want your audience to go away with.
(this can appear earlier on if there’s a natural point to have it mid-episode):
Please rate, review and subscribe to or follow the podcast on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
I’m (your name). Thanks for listening.
Podcast producer, media trainer, and former journalist.